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56% Think Competing State Standards More Likely to Lower Health Care Costs

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

If the government’s got to be involved in health care decisions, most voters think it’ll be cheaper if it’s states rather than the feds.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely U.S. Voters say letting states compete to determine the most effective standards and guidelines would do more to reduce health care costs than having the federal government involved. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 33% believe having the federal government establish a single set of standards and regulations would be more cost effective. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But there’s strong partisan disagreement on this. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Democrats favor overarching federal government standards, while 78% of Republicans and 64% of voters not affiliated with either major party prefer competing state regulations.

Keep in mind, however, that 69% of all voters believe greater free market competition between insurance companies would do more to reduce health care costs than more government regulation of any kind.

Regardless of how lower costs are achieved, only one-in-three voters (32%) feel they will translate into Americans spending less on health care. A plurality (48%) believes people will buy more health care services if costs are brought under control. That’s up six points from October 2009 when Rasmussen Reports first asked the question.  Twenty-one percent (21%) aren’t sure which is more likely to occur.

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The national telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 14-15, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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